With Holy Week just around the corner, it’s time once again to consult a map and contemplate on doing the rounds of churches for the annual Visita Iglesia. While you’re at it, it might be worthwhile exploring Rizal Province which is renowned for beautiful, mostly centuries-old churches with some dating back to the Spanish colonial period. This year, why not hop on your bike instead of walking so you can cover more ground? After all, you’d still be using your legs as some sort of sacrifice for the Lenten season while pedaling your way to municipality after municipality of quaint, old churches steeped in history. Let’s start our Siklista Iglesia.
Category: Bike Touring
If you plan to visit the recently inaugurated and redeveloped Arroceros Urban Forest Park by bike, I would advise to defer for a later time. The park doesn’t allow bikes in the area, let alone, on the pavement going to the park. Since it is still in development (despite being inaugurated already) there are no bike racks in the area. I asked the guards where I can leave my bike securely and they can’t give a definite answer. I was excited to check out the re-opened “last lung of Manila” and do a little birding so I decided to ride all the way from Pasig.
For a coffee-lover like me, riding to the coffee capital of the Philippines, Amadeo, Cavite was more than just a trivial endeavor. Just being at one of the country’s largest coffee producer and tasting it’s famous “pahimis” blend was enough to pedal my way to Amadeo. Besides, it’s just short of 30km from Biñan where I’m staying. For this ride, I took the Davilan road to Silang, Cavite to Amadeo then a sidetrip to Tagaytay on my way back.
Folding Bike Loop: REVPAL
I catch my breath as it escapes me. It’s getting shallow. I knew I’m almost at the edge of my capacity to pedal. So I stop. They call this stretch “2 kilometers of Pain”, now I know why. First time I passed through REVPAL was coming from Tagaytay side. I was screaming with exhilaration as I descend these slopes from Mt Sungai. Going the “reverse” way and negotiating up to 15% gradient (9 degrees) incline was a different experience altogether. But hey, we’re here for the thrill right? Like any other cyclist, we’re always trying to test our mettle. Am I? I’m really here for the sightseeing.
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them”Ernest Hemingway
98 Rides. 2,055 km distance. Ride climb as high as 566 masl. That’s how a year of cycling through the pandemic looks like from my Strava. At least the ones I were able to log. It’s been a year since I had En, what I call my Dahon Route folding bike. What the stats doesn’t show are the loads of cargo my bike handled running grocery errands, the sense of freedom riding a bike brought in the constrained world of community quarantine and pesos I saved and possible COVID19 transmissions I avoided by using my bike as an active transport.
Staying in Biñan, Laguna offered a more pleasant provincial scenery than I was staying in Metro Manila. While not entirely rural, our side of Laguna borders Carmona, Cavite which still have plenty of open spaces and nature spots. It gave me opportunity to explore nearby areas by bike. One biking destination here enjoyed by locals is called Davilan. Still part of Carmona, the place has challenging uphills called Davilan Ahon, the wide open wilderness-like Davilan Park and a rough trail leading to a refreshing pool of water at Pasong Buhangin.
It’s the Chinese new year and I wanted to revisit Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world. I knew celebrations this 2021 will be quite different due to the pandemic. But since I haven’t been to this part of Manila, I thought it would be interesting to bike around the area. This time, I went bimodal too. Trying out the Pasig River Ferry service from Guadalupe to Escolta, then back to San Joaquin, Pasig in the evening. So how is it like to travel on a water vessel with my folding bike this pandemic?